Colombia Endemic – Andes & Choco
This is the first part of an incredible tour focused on endemic and near-endemic birds of Colombia, with at least 35 endemic and 51 near endemics from the Eastern, Central and Western Andes. A tour in where the number of birds can go up to 450 species and you will enjoy the magical mountains of this beautiful and mega-diverse country!
When we think of birdwatching in Colombia, something that comes to mind quickly is the Andes, in the south of the country this mountain range is divided into three branches and this makes each one of them different, after thousands of years of isolated evolution.In turn, the geography within the country is complex, diverse and beautiful. Well, in terms of birds, it is not very different, as is to be expected, each branch of the Andes has unique and incredibly beautiful birds species –but also mammals, frogs, orchids, butterflies and go on – a single trip to Colombia is not enough to watch its incredible biodiversity and that is why in Manakin Nature Tours we have divide the country into “sections” to be able to visit it in the best way while we watch birds.
This first part of the birdwatching in Colombia is endemic birds tour, is a perfect introduction to the birds of the three branches of the Andes, since we visit the three of them, choosing the best birding places and also the great benefit is that we can change altitude above sea level and therefore habitat, resulting in many more bird species for the trip!
Starting with the eastern mountain range, we visit Andean, high Andean and cloud forests (this at 8000 fasl), then we travel north over this same mountain range to visit the dry forests associated with the Chicamocha river canyon (4000 fasl) and the oak forests (6000 fasl ); Here we find such incredible birds as the incredible beautiful Green-bearded Helmetcrest, Brown-breasted Parakeet, Cundinamarca Antpitta, the elusive Niceforo’s Wren and highly restricted birds like the Mountain Grackle.
From there we go to a mix between the western and central mountain ranges to see the endemic species of the Tatamá National Natural Park and the Montezuma hill, where Black and Gold Tanager and Gold-ringed Tanager stand out, both are endemic and with a small range of distribution, then we head to the high Andean forests and paramo oof the central cordillera at 11000 fasl on the slopes of the Nevado del Ruiz in the Los Nevados National Natural Park, without a doubt the most incredible species in this place is the Buffy Helmetcrest and below the paramo, at a lower altitude the high Andean forests loaded with Antpittas and Mountain Tanagers and with the chance to see one of the most difficult parrots in America, Fuerte’s Parrot.
The trip ends visiting two places in the western mountain range, where the Yellow-eared Parrot, the Andean Cock of the Rock lek, and the very localized and restricted Urrao Antpitta and Dusky Starfrontlet stand out.
As you can see, it is not only an incredible trip through the Colombian Andes, but the birds that are possible on this trip are fantastic, every day is loaded with beautiful landscapes, the tranquility of the Colombian countryside, the good attention and why not, an excellent Manakin Nature Tours birding guide!